DTE Energy to close 40 MW biomass plant in Wisconsin

By Anna Simet | October 15, 2015

DTE Energy Services has announced it will close its Cassville, Wisconsin, biomass power plant, known as the E.J. Stoneman Electrical Station.

Company subsidiary DTE Stoneman LLC and Dairyland Power Corp. have mutually agreed to terminate their power purchase agreement for the 40 MW of power being generated at the station, confirmed John Reis, DTE Energy Services asset management director.

The former coal-burning facility was originally owned by Dairyland and was brought into service in 1951. DTE purchased the plant in 2008 and converted it to biomass, bringing it back online in October 2010. Various types of wood waste fuel the plant, including residue from forestry and tree trimming operations, railroad ties, demolition waste and sawdust.

Reis said that the plant, which employs 27, is no longer an economically viable project because the cost of renewable energy is decreasing, while the cost to transport biomass fuel is increasing significantly in the Midwest region. “Both companies appreciate the opportunity to be part of the community through the years and will work collaboratively with local officials to determine the best use for the plant,” Reis said, adding that the company has not started seeking buyers.

Closure of the plant is pending approval from the regional transmission system operator, but it’s expected to occur before the year’s end.